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Cut and Strip

What is ‘Cut and Strip’?

Cut and Strip is a card shuffling procedure commonly used in casinos and cardrooms. It is usually referred to as the ‘strip shuffle’ or ‘running cuts’ or ‘boxing the cards.’

The cut and strip technique calls for a bit of flourish, and if you have ever seen a dealer take sections of the deck, put it down, and then place the other half of the deck on top, and then repeat this over and over again really quickly, then you have seen the strip shuffle, or running cuts in action.

‘Cut and Strip’ Explained

Learning how to cut the deck to shuffle is a more complicated process than just lifting the top half of the cards off the top of the deck. This technique is an ideal shuffle to mix in a combination using the ‘riffle shuffle’ and it can be tricky until you get used to handling the cards like a professional dealer, although it is worth the effort, so you should consider practicing the technique.

The technique of this shuffle consists of pulling small stacks from the top of a full deck of cards and adding them to a new stack. This is continued until the last small stack is placed on the top of the stack. You should perform this shuffle with the deck in a length-wise orientation. To ensure randomization of the shuffle, the process should be repeated a number of times. When it is done quickly, it doesn’t take too much time at all to do it correctly.

First of all, you should understand the importance of proper card shuffling, and you probably already know it is done to randomize the entire deck to ensure a level playing field for all the players involved in the game. If you knew, or even had an idea which card would follow the next, the thrill of playing the game would certainly be ruined. It is this thrill that makes craps and blackjack so exciting to play, and of course winning enhances that thrill.

The unpredictability of these casino games are the reason we play them, and our emotions are determined by the unknown outcome. We are relieved and delighted at the same time when we win, while losing causes distress, and even anguish. This is what makes them so special, and all of this begins with shuffling the cards, and shuffling them correctly and thoroughly ensures that every game is fair and honest.

Some dealers can do some amazing things with the cards, which not only adds to their ability to be a good dealer, it also becomes clear that the dealer is a professional, and additionally, it adds some glamour and fun to the game by simply watching them.

Undoubtedly, there will be a day in the future when you will be the dealer during a game of poker. Wouldn’t you like to impress your opponents when you shuffle the cards? It may even give off the impression (whether it is true or not; could be a great bluff strategy) that you are a professional, or at least experienced, poker player.

How to ‘Cut and Strip’ Shuffle the Cards

Essentially, the strip shuffle is the beginning of a riffle shuffle (say that 3Xs fast), and the technique is done as follows:
♦ Hold the deck of cards lengthwise, in landscape orientation.
♦ Pull the top fifth (approx.) of the cards from the top.
♦ Set this first stack down next to the rest of the deck, keeping it as close to the deck as possible.
♦ Pull the second fifth (approx.) of the cards from the top.
♦ Set this second stack down on top of the first stack.
♦ Repeat this until the entire deck has been gone through in this manner.
♦ Repeat this process approximately 7 or 8 times to be thorough.
♦ Square the cards.
♦ Next, do a riffle shuffle of the deck.
♦ Square the cards.
♦ Cut the cards and then it’s time to deal the cards.

Important Tips on How to ‘Cut and Strip’ Shuffle the Cards

Start practicing this shuffle very slowly at first, and then as you get the hang of it, you can work on your speed.

You will find that some of the cards will pop out of the deck, when they shouldn’t. Don’t worry about this, simply square the cards quickly and carry on.

The key to this shuffling technique is to use your index finger to clip the cards. There are a number of video tutorials on this technique available on the internet.